Protein Powder Isn't Just for Body Builders and Fraternity Bros

A new generation of natural protein powders build muscle and aid recovery the clean way

protein

A new generation of powders.    Photo: Hannah McCaughey

Build muscle and recover the clean way with these six top-notch powders.

Sprout Living Epic Protein

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  Photo: Sprout Living

Plant proteins are often knocked for being incomplete. But the mix of brown rice, yellow peas, artichoke root, cranberry seeds, and sacha inchi—a South American peanut—covers all nine amino acids. On top of that, the blend is organic, raw, non-GMO, vegan, and soy- and gluten-free. 
Taste: B
Protein: 26g

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Growing Naturals Pea Protein

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  Photo: Growing Naturals

Pea protein is the product du jour of the anti-soy contingent. (Most U.S. soybeans are genetically modified.) It’s easily absorbed by the body and helps convert fatty acids into energy.

Taste: C
Protein: 15g

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Mattole Valley Naturals Goat Whey Protein

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  Photo: Mattole Valley Naturals

Mattole Valley’s three ingredients are all derived from pasture-fed goat’s milk. Why does that matter? Goat’s milk is higher in protein, less allergenic, and easier to digest than cow’s milk, the usual source of whey protein.

Taste: B+
Protein: 14g

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Vega One Nutritional Shake

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  Photo: Vega One

We typically skip anything with an ingredient list several lines long, but Vega One’s shake is made up of only the good stuff: flaxseed, hemp protein, and organic spirulina, among others. It also packs the equivalent of six servings of veggies. 

Taste: B-
Protein: 20g

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Natural Force Primal Peptides 

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  Photo: Natural Force

The only ingredient here is collagen, a fibrous protein found in connective tissue that helps muscles withstand stretching. Studies show that adding it to your diet can ease soreness in tendons and joints. 

Taste: A-
Protein: 10g

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Source Organic Peanut Butter Protein

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  Photo: Source Organic

Smoothies are great, but sometimes you need a break from the blender. Try adding this peanut-butter powder to a batch of cookies or homemade energy bars. 
Taste: A
Protein: 11g

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